“Einstein” by Walter Pearce

Walter Pearce (grade 6)


Here I sit in core class
thinking about nothing and everything
as I always do.
Mrs. Wyneken is writing something on the board
but nothing of interest.
As always, I’m not paying attention
just thinking about my grades, and what comes to mind
is I don’t know what it means to have good grades anyway?
All it means is that you are good at bringing back homework on time
and acting good in class and not talking.
What else is there in a grade besides that?
Like the great Einstein, he flunked math
and twenty years later became the greatest mathematician ever.
He was just not good at listening, and paying attention.
Who knows what was going through his mind,
especially when he got in trouble.
Maybe he was equating some great theory.
He is somewhat like me—
I am always thinking about some line of code I could use
in some program I am making at home
and writing it down on a piece of paper.
Even if you have good grades, you could still be some idiot
that spends hours at home trying to do homework
but can listen very good and never gets what they are saying.
I think I am somewhat like Einstein.
I get concepts that most people will never get.
I have taught myself what most have to read a book to get.
Your grades mean nothing; it is how you think,
not what the grades are.

from Rattle #9, Summer 1998
Tribute to Children

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